T. & A.

Just a very short piece of writing from later 2012, written sitting in a tree in deep rural Australia. It’s all very nice.

From what she’d gotten so far, the country was an ever-changing place. From the deep 4 AM silence, void of any birdsong or heaving wind, there came the crowing of flocks of galahs, crows, and even herons. The deep green bushes offered shrill insects, and the rushes croaked ceaselessly. All in all, this was not a good place to think. On top of the natural noise, was the sound of two brothers reunited: electric guitar and drums, complete with the occasional cheer or screamed lyric. She was less than appreciative of this, and even less appreciative of the dog (wet smell included) that perched desperately on her lap, hoping for damp kisses. She’d excused herself to the garden, letting the boys have their time together, and to clear her head. The results were unapparent. A. had taken her around the garden yesterday, as part of the grand tour. He’d told her that they had weddings here. Perhaps under this tree where she sat now, people would say their vows. She tried to picture it; a white lace trail over the paving stone moat, the blackened leaves brushed away so that the white roots of the tree were exposed. Skeletal branches alive with an autumn palette of leaves, crowning the couple. She couldn’t see it, not with the cold creeping through her feet, not with the dampness settling into her clothes. Yawning, she brought her knees to her chest, and closed her eyes.

For a second the sun shone; for a second it was summer. Golden warmth and spiraling dust mites, the glass wings of bees glowing. She could imagine the grass browning in front of her, the roses reaching full bloom. It passed. The crowds assumed a nondescript grey, and the heat vanished. It would be beautiful in summer, without a doubt. She could stay anytime, said A.’s mother. He’d promised to bring her back. Though an escape was always welcome, she was still confused by what she was doing here. This wasn’t her, this wasn’t T. T. was the screeching of trams and the busker by the library. She was in the forty floor buildings, in the thinnest rain she knew, and in the double rainbows by the river. Sometimes in the neon hair of the Flinders station usual’s, and always in the bass drops of Chinatown. The sparrow’s ruffled as the boys played an intro she knew. She couldn’t feel her toes, her white fingers slipped on her pen.

What she really couldn’t figure out though, was why she was so comfortable here. Comfortable with the mud on her shoes, with the clear, star-strewn night skies. And T. and A.: that was confusing her too. The two of them chasing the less-than-friendly alpacas, laughing continually, singing the lyrics from his walls out of tune. Remembering those songs from six years ago, still knowing every word: that was comfort. The glow-in-the-dark solar systems of his ceiling, the same ones she’d had in her room. All of it was familiar, and normal. Normal was nice. She’d be lying if she said she hadn’t wanted to kiss him yesterday, or to reach out impulsively to grab his hand. Last night he’d planted kisses on her shoulders, and the wings she’d thought were forever folded sprung out. Just friends, just friends. Friends who had fun and laughed at everything, and sometimes curled up together. She’d spent the night before correcting his old schoolmates and family – denying that she was his date, that she had a boyfriend already, that she was only here out of her own generosity. Yet she’d still reached for his hand as they were squeezing through the crowd. They’d been the first ones to get up and dance after the debutantes had cleared the floor.

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